Shoveled, Shaken & Exposed
And He began telling this parable: 'A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'
Luke 13:6-9 (NAS)
The King James Version translates verse 8 like this:
'Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it.'
In Jesus' parable of the Barren Fig Tree, the vineyard Owner is God, and Christ is the Keeper. The fruitless fig tree represents God's unproductive children. In it, Jesus pleads with His Father to allow us more time to bear fruit. How does He intend to remedy our barrenness? In this case, He will dig around our roots and shovel dung right in the midst of our exposed lives.
Imagine a situation in which our hidden problems are brought to light. Maybe we've been caught in a compromising situation or a lie. Maybe a deep addiction becomes known, or a family embarrassment is made public.
ExposÚs on the lives of celebrities are news, but we cringe when the search light hits us. Yet, consider that Light to be Jesus. Consider that exposure to be a blessing. Jesus digs around our buried sins and dark secrets. Then through God's 'beauty for ashes' exchange program, our problems become fertilizer for a miraculous transformation.
Once the process is complete, our fruitless lives become productive--even joyful. We are saved.
And we become the talk of the vineyard.